1 From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
Through ev'ry land by ev'ry tongue.
2 Eternal are Thy mercies Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.
Baptist Hymnal, 2008
|First Line:||From all that dwell below the skies|
|Title:||From All That Dwell Below the Skies|
|Author:||Isaac Watts (1719)|
|Liturgical Use:||Opening Hymns|
From all that dwell below the skies. I. Watts. [Psalm cxvii.] This paraphrase appeared in his Psalms of David, 1719, as follows:—
"Psalm cxvii. Long Metre.
"From all that dwell below the Skies
Let the Creator's Praise arise:
Let the Redeemer's Name be sung
Thro' every Land, by every Tongue,
“Eternal are thy Mercies, Lord;
Eternal Truth attends thy Word;
Thy Praise shall sound from Shore to Shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more."
In this its original form this hymn is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries. It has also been translated into several languages, including Latin, by Bingham, in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871:—" Magna Creatoris cunctis alturn aethera subter."
2. A second form of the hymn appeared about 1780, under the following circumstances. John Wesley, in the Preface to his Pocket Hymn-book for the Use of Christians of All Denominations, dated Nov. 15, 1786, says:—
”A few years ago I was desired by many of our preachers to prepare and publish a small Pocket Hymn-book, to be used in common in our Societies. This I promised to do, as soon as I had finished some other business, which was then on my hands. But before I could do this, a Bookseller stepped in, and without my consent or knowledge, extracted such a Hymn-book chiefly from our works, aud spread several editions of it throughout the kingdom. Two years ago I published a Pocket Hymn-book according to my promise. But most of our people were supplied already with the other Hymns. And these are largely circulated still. To cut off all pretence from the Methodists for buying them, our Brethren in the late Conference at Bristol advised me to print the same Hymn-book which had been printed at York. This I have done in the present volume; only with this difference," &c.
The hymn-book here referred to is:— A Pocket Hymn-book designed as a constant Companion for the pious, collected from Various Authors. York, R. Spence [c. 1780], 5th edition, 1786.
From this hymn-book J. Wesley reprinted in his Pocket Hymn-book, 1786, Watts's “From all that dwell below the skies," with these additional lines in one stanza:—
“Your lofty themes, ye mortals, bring,
In songs of praise divinely sing;
The great salvation loud proclaim,
And shout for joy the Saviour's name:
In ev'ry land begin the song;
To ev'ry land the strains belong;
In cheerful sounds all voices raise,
And fill the world with loudest praise."
The original, together with these lines from the York book, passed into several collections as a hymn in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. The cento in this form is in common use in Great Britain and America.
3. A third form of the text is also in common use. It appeared in the 1830 Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book, No. 690. It is composed of Watts's original, four lines from the York Pocket Book text, and Bp. Ken's doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," &c. This was omitted in the 1875 revised edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, in favour of Watts's original text.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Isaac Watts wrote this text for his 1719 publication The Psalms of David, Imitated. It was one of three paraphrases he wrote based on Psalm 117, and it was first published in two verses. In 1780 John Wesley published a version with an added two verses. These verses are included in the United Methodist Hymnal, Trinity Hymnal, and Presbyterian Hymnal. A third form of the hymn originated with the doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” as a final verse. This verse is included in the Lutheran Hymnal and Episcopal Hymnal. The original two verses are found in the Baptist Hymnal 2008. Note that Watts uses chiastic structure here at its finest: the first and last line mirror each other, and the middle two are synonymous.
There are three tunes that are split almost equally in their use with this hymn text. The first is LASST UNS ERFREUN, commonly associated with the hymn, “All Creatures of our God and King.” When this tune is used, “Alleluias” are added to the text, as in “All Creatures.” Another tune used is OLD HUNDREDTH, the classic doxology tune. Finally, you could use DUKE STREET, commonly associated with ‘Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun,” another of Watt’s famous texts. Information on performing these tunes can be found on the featured hymn pages for “All Creatures” and “Jesus Shall Reign.”
Albert Bailey describes this hymn as “the classic of English doxologies” (The Gospel in Hymns, 57). In fact, it could be sung as a doxology, an opening hymn, or a hymn of response to a message on God’s goodness and mercy. It could be sung as the doxology during a service celebrating diversity and the beauty of all of God’s people and creation.
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Laura de Jong, Hymnary.org